Author Topic: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW  (Read 1256 times)

baconschteam

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What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« on: July 21, 2021, 01:53:08 PM »
Looking to replace the car that is toast (toyota prius). Something for a short commute and weekend camping trips, maybe occasional long road trips. Hatchback preferable.

I have been fantasizing about getting a used 2015 or newer Honda Fit, but right now used prices are INSANE. I have read the MMM guides on buying a car, but do they apply right now? If you, an ultra mustache, HAD TO buy a car right now, in this market, what would it be? Does buying new make more sense than ever?

In the LA area BTW.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 08:05:37 PM by baconschteam »

StartingEarly

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2021, 02:53:57 PM »
What is toast about it? If it's the battery they can often be grid charged and last for years for a few hundred dollar setup.

DaMa

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2021, 07:00:53 PM »
My daughter bought a Honda Fit in 2015.  She would have liked a 2-3 year old one, but bought new.  Even then used ones were almost as expensive as new ones and very hard to find.

I've gotten 3 phone calls and two letters in the last two months from Nissan dealers wanting to buy my 2011 Versa hatchback.

DeniseNJ

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2021, 06:42:54 AM »
Car are way overpriced right now. So if I had to buy a car I would buy the cheapest one that runs.  Like 1K. then you can wait until prices are reasonable.

baconschteam

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2021, 11:12:14 AM »
So, is it the overall consensus that prices will come down over the next year (or so)? Maybe "cheapest one that runs" is the answer to hold me over.

ChpBstrd

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2021, 11:47:05 AM »
2021 Toyota Corolla hybrid, base, special ordered with no options.
  • $24k cash
  • Probable 20 year lifespan.
  • Most historically reliable manufacturer.
  • MPG equals a Prius.

According to https://www.kbb.com/new-cars/total-cost-of-ownership/ the 5-year cost of ownership is about $8400 less than a base Prius due to lower depreciation and insurance! In 5 years you'll spend about $33,500 to own the Corolla vs. ~$42k for the Prius. That's $18.36 per day vs. $23.01.*

Install a $200 hitch and you can add a rear rack or 4x8 trailer for camping trips (Our family of 3 camps out of a Corolla no problem). Inexplicably, Toyota does not offer the Corolla hatchback as a hybrid, but the 5y total cost of ownership is only $1k more for the gas-only hatch than the hybrid sedan if that's important.

*These 5 year costs are about $9k higher than for a few-years-old used car, but I'll assume used is not an option or the prices are so high those savings are much smaller than before, and possibly not worth the hassle. At this point I'd hate to commit to a car for more than 5 years, because of the pace of improvement in BEVs. By 2026, gas cars might be considered relics, sort of like 26" mountain bikes or dual-core computers. Depreciation could be higher than expected.

Paper Chaser

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2021, 11:54:31 AM »
When I hear a request for a budget friendly, fuel sipping hatch back my mind goes to a Ford CMax.

https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=35738&id=34836

Prius fuel economy with a more usable hatch without the "toyota tax". They're unknown, ugly ducklings and nobody wants discontinued hybrid hatchbacks in this CUV crazed world. That means prices aren't as outrageous.

There's also a PHEV version that would be great if you can easily charge where you park. But the larger battery intrudes into the cargo area, so that may reduce the appeal. It just depends how much stuff you haul. If it's just a commuter, and really only hauls people I think they're a great tool for the job. If you're loading your bike or something into the back every week then maybe not.

caleb

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2021, 11:55:20 AM »
Are you comfortable with fire?  If so, perhaps a Chevy Bolt is for you.

I kid.

Seriously though, a neighbor just bought a Bolt, and with the tax rebate it was barely over $20k all in.  It has not started on fire yet.  He seems to like it.

If you have a spot to charge, a Bolt might be worth a look.

Sandi_k

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2021, 02:04:57 PM »
Are you comfortable with fire?  If so, perhaps a Chevy Bolt is for you.

I kid.

Seriously though, a neighbor just bought a Bolt, and with the tax rebate it was barely over $20k all in.  It has not started on fire yet.  He seems to like it.

If you have a spot to charge, a Bolt might be worth a look.

More Teslas have caught on fire than Bolts. ;)

Pedantically, the issue was with 2017/18 models, when charged to the max. My DH got a lemon law buyback from GM as a result - they paid full MSRP, including tax paid, minus a certain formula for mileage. If you didn't choose the lemon law option, they update the software, and recommend that you only charge to 85% - which still gives you more range than a Leaf.

He turned around and bought a 2022 Chevy Bolt, and paid the small differential with a check.

reeshau

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2021, 02:27:14 PM »
So, is it the overall consensus that prices will come down over the next year (or so)? Maybe "cheapest one that runs" is the answer to hold me over.

Next year or two, yes.

https://www.reuters.com/technology/car-chip-shortage-abate-smartphones-could-be-next-industry-execs-2021-07-23/

The supply will improve, but dealers typically hold 90 days' inventory, and the distribution lots have to fill.  Fortunately, there are large lots full of new vehicles built but missing controllers, so there is a kind of surge capacity to help.  But healing won't start until 2022; plants are still going through shut down periods.

StartingEarly

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2021, 04:19:54 PM »
So you still haven't answered what's toast about the car. A lot of times a hybrid car will appear failed and the fix is cheap and simple.

MayDay

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2021, 05:29:00 AM »
I bought a new Insight last summer for 19k. I assume you can't get them quote that cheap anymore but it was a great deal at the time. Apparently they aren't all that popular. It is basically a hybrid civic.

Ecky

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2021, 06:26:28 AM »
While I'm wary of the DCT transmission in them, both the Ioniq and the Niro hybrids are otherwise fantastic vehicles, and I haven't yet seen any evidence the transmissions are actually a point of failure. Better fuel economy than a Prius, offered as a PHEV, depreciation curve is STEEP so you can get several year old models for a song, and they're both roomy, useful hatchbacks.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2021, 07:42:31 AM »
The most Mustachian approach is usually to repair what you have. If it's completely done for, then what do you need a car to do? You haven't even mentioned what's wrong with the Prius?

The cheapest is probably to find a tidy 15-20 year old Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla or similar from Craigslist etc, especially one that needs a little work and wrench on it to get it back into shape.

If you're after something lightly used, then prices are probably so high now that new makes more sense, and just get another commuter car.

RWD

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2021, 09:25:38 AM »
Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (hatchback with 39% more cargo space than Honda Fit) is $26.7k MSRP minus the $4,543 federal credit = $22.2k cost. 29 miles of pure electric range, 52 mpg in hybrid mode. 10 year / 100k mile powertrain warranty.

Edited for correction to federal credit amount.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 08:36:25 PM by RWD »

sonofsven

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2021, 10:54:09 AM »
I would look for an older Avalon. Since they are "boring" cars they are usually driven by "boring" people.

feelingroovy

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2021, 08:28:47 PM »
Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (hatchback with 39% more cargo space than Honda Fit) is $26.7k MSRP minus the $7.5k federal credit = $19.2k cost. 29 miles of pure electric range, 52 mpg in hybrid mode. 10 year / 100k mile powertrain warranty.

We just went through the same decision last month. Our 2007 Prius had enough issues we didn't feel comfortable driving out of town and it's our distance car.

We could not find a used car for any decent price so ended up with a 2021 Prius Prime . Part of my soul died buying a new car but the numbers worked. It ended up cheaper than some comparable used options bc of rebates and the tax credit.

We test drove the Hyundai Ionic and liked it. But the federal tax credit is lower than for the Prius Prime. And we liked that too and trust Toyota reliability. https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml

Cost: $29500 rounded
Toyota rebate $-4000
State EV rebate $-1100
Fed tax credit $-4500*

It ends up at $19500. I don't know why Toyota was giving rebates given the current prices but we'll take it. Check your state for ev rebates.

Of course, we don't get the $4500 off taxes  until April and we had to pay sales tax on the full price. So it's not exactly the same as getting a $19500 car.  We had the cash to pay upfront but got a 2 year 0% financing for two years.

Surprisingly, the insurance even with collision, was less than $100 more annually than for our old Prius without collision. I can only guess it's bc of all the new safety features?

*Edited to fix rebate amount
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 07:13:01 PM by feelingroovy »

RWD

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2021, 08:37:45 PM »
We test drove the Hyundai Ionic and liked it. But the federal tax credit is lower than for the Prius Prime.
Ah, I thought it qualified for the full credit. I updated my post accordingly, thanks.

baconschteam

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2021, 11:11:33 AM »
I didn't want to focus on the issue with the Prius because I wanted to explore the main question, what car to buy RIGHT NOW. It's something I've been pondering and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

But to answer the questions about the Prius - it has become increasingly unreliable. It is supposed to be the reliable car. The other car is a 2015 Nissan Leaf that can only travel like 60 miles (perfect for my short commute). We don't want to be nervous that our long distance car is going to crap out far from home someplace remote. My fiancée has been using it to commute and she has a bit less patience (or more anxiety) than I do when it comes to the car's reliability.

We had to replace the catalytic converter this year, that cost $1900. The inverter coolant pump died while DW was driving home from LA about a month ago. The bearing/spindle on the front left wheel has needed replacing twice in the past year. Last week after turning it on a loud grinding noise came from the engine, with a burning smell. I haven't had a chance to try to figure this out yet. I am only a youtube mechanic and this problem seems out of my league. I have no garage, I do all my repairs in an alley next to my apartment. If the engine needs replacing, it will probably make sense to just replace the car.

It ends up at $16500. I don't know why Toyota was giving rebates given the current prices but we'll take it. Check your state for ev rebates.

^^^ This is awesome! Still might go with an older used car until prices come down, but we will look into this!

American GenX

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2021, 02:28:11 PM »
We test drove the Hyundai Ionic and liked it. But the federal tax credit is lower than for the Prius Prime. And we liked that too and trust Toyota reliability. https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml

Cost: $29500 rounded
Toyota rebate $-4000
State EV rebate $-1100
Fed tax credit $-7500

The page you linked to shows the tax credit is $4,502 on the Prius Prime, not $7500.

feelingroovy

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2021, 08:42:56 PM »
Hmmm, that's not what I remembered from when we were looking, but yes, that's what it says.

And OP, our other car is a 2015 Leaf. :)

Paper Chaser

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Re: What Car to Buy RIGHT NOW
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2021, 05:34:19 AM »
It ends up at $16500. I don't know why Toyota was giving rebates given the current prices but we'll take it. Check your state for ev rebates.

^^^ This is awesome! Still might go with an older used car until prices come down, but we will look into this!

The Ioniq PHEV should really be cross shopped if you're looking at a Prius Prime. It has longer EV range, but slightly worse fuel economy with the ICE. It has a better warranty, has a slightly higher federal tax credit, and it's typically a couple thousand dollars cheaper purchase price than the Prius.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=43725&id=42814

https://www.newcars.com/reviews/hyundai-ioniqpluginhybrid-vs-toyota-priusprime-coupehatchback.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBiUyDytDR0